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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Rock You Like A _________

Here I am after a brief (long) delay, due to a lengthy (brief) hurricane of depression on the normally sunny coastline of my self-esteem. You see, I want to be good enough for you, and I try to be good enough for you, and 99.9% of the time I'm pretty sure I am good enough for you, but every so often the winds of doubt come whistling through my ears.

"Ben Lee," they howl, "you think you're soooo hot, but you're soooo not."

"You think you know how to blog?" they taunt, "you'll never be as good as Kristine."

"You're not even worth your own time."

It was brutal and constant, these tropical winds of self-criticism, ripping the roof off my normally confident blogging-brain and flooding it with doubt. I feared this city of myself, once such a big easy, had been waterlogged with self-pity and recovery was impossible.

Then I saw Dyan dance.

Sure, she'll pound her piano until it bleeds, clap hands center-stage while Nathaniel embarks on one of his many forays into the crowd, drink until there's nothing left to drink... But she's probably the most level-headed, about-her-wits member of the Blood Arm posse. And Dyan DOES NOT dance.

Saturday night, however, the world turned upside down.

We (TBA posse plus wives and children) were out drinking, celebrating the evening. (Every evening is worth celebrating where we come from.) The bar was cash only, and Dyan had spent all hers. "Ben Lee," she said. "Buy me a drink"

"Yeah right," I said, for I am poor and Jewish.

Dyan did not beg or prod someone else, no, that would have been too easy. She stood up and danced. It was not an awkward two-step shuffle or a cheeky stab at sexiness, it was a full-on manic assault. Her arms, legs, body, and head all took on lives of their own, and rose up together in protest of gravity itself. Her head tossed from side to side at such a rate I feared it would become unhinged, her arms windmilled with enough force to fan the whole room, and her feet generated so much static-electricity that sparks were on the tips of everyone's fingertips. She danced so hard that all in attendance forgot it was Murray Head's "One Night In Bangkok" blasting from the jukebox and tapped their feet.

Dyan didn't have to say anything, her gyrations sent the message loud and clear: BUY ME A DRINK OR I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU.

Needless to say, she was well taken care of for the rest of the night.

And somehow, immediately upon returning home, I could type again. It was as if the hurricane in my head passed from my brain onto Dyan and the bar that night, for the benefit of everyone. Or at least me, and everyone who was lucky enough to witness Dyan go nuts.

So here I am. Rock you like a hurricane. I missed you.

-Ben Lee

Oh yes. If you're feeling generous and you haven't already, it's nice to help people who's hurricane woes can't be cured by Dyan dancing: The American Red Cross

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I Need a Hero...

This afternoon I was imprisoned in a delicious sandwich.

Now I am free.

The Sons and Daughters are playing an instore tonight at Amoeba, then with the Decemberists later at the Henry Fonda Theater. If you care for free hugs while witnessing the live performance of stellar music, we will be at both.

-Ben Lee

Monday, September 12, 2005

Chasing Chevy

Back when I was ten years-old, I read a newspaper interview with Chevy Chase, my favorite actor at the time, aloud to my mother. He was bemoaning the critical panning of his latest work to the paper. Mr. Chase seemed to consider himself, the actor, above the critics, the God of them even. And at the time of the interview, Chevy Chase was an angry God. He questioned the very existence of the critics. “Without actors,” I read aloud to my mother in my best impression of Chevy Chase, “critics wouldn’t even exist.”

I found this statement very profound, believing Chevy Chase to be a God at that point in time. He was Fletch! The National Lampoons' Vacation movies! I wished all film critics dead, and said so to my mother.

My mother, however, thought his statement ludicrous. “Without patients,” she said in her best impression of Chevy Chase, “doctors wouldn’t even exist.”

That statement has haunted me to this day. Am I supposed to hate doctors, patients, critics, or actors? Is my mother, sometimes a patient, the Lord of the Doctors, on level-footing with Chevy Chase? Or is it the other way around? My father is a doctor, and now my wife is as well... Should I hate them or worship them? Is my wife my father? Is my father my wife?

It’s a wonder I ever sleep at all.

Here are some things the Blood Arm has been up to lately:

Performing in Edinburgh with Hot Hot Heat—It was Hot Hot! And Heated!

Flying back from Edinburgh to Los Angeles—We were high! And flying!

Knitting—Dyan got darnding and done-darnded Zach a scarf!

Performing at the Troubadour—It’s good to be home!

Sharing—The band lent Spoon their practice space, and Spoon gave us passes to see them at Arthurfest!

Arthurfestering—Spoon! Sonic Youth! Sleater-Kinney! Magic Markers! The Circle! The Black Keys! Yoko Ono! The Modey Lemon! Alcohol! Other bands!

Strip-Clubbing—We found ourselves at a lesbian strip bar with Maximo Park! Just like in the Jonathan Richman song!

DJ-ing—Nathaniel spun at some parties, and boy is he dizzy!

Eating—Hey, if we didn’t, we’d die!

Paper Mache-ing—When it dries, it’s tough as cement!

Loving you—It’s easy ‘cause you’re beautiful!

My Leeds report will be posted on shortly!


Ben Lee

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Check it out:

Leeds coming soon!